Wildlife North America . com
North American Animals - mamals, birds, reptiles, insects

 Black Tern (Chlidonias niger)




Black Tern | Chlidonias niger photo
Black Tern, Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, Oregon

Photograph by Alan And Elaine Wilson. Some rights reserved.  (view image details)

BLACK TERN FACTS

Description
In breeding plumage, the Black Tern is dark colored with a black head, neck and chest, and gray wings. In non-breeding plumage the head is white with dark crown and naps; the underside is white and wings gray. The young are a pale gray with scale pattern on back, and have dark patches on each side of the head. The tail is short and slightly notched. The black bill is sharp and slender. The wings are long and pointed. The legs are very dark reddish color.

Size
length 23cm - 26cm, wingspan 57cm - 60cm

Environment
In summer is found in inland marshes and wetlands. Found on the Atlantic and Gulf coasts during migrations to coastal South American winter grounds.

Food
insects, fish, plankton.

Breeding
Nests in small colonies in upland wetlands. Nest is built on mound or floating mass in water to 1m deep. Lays a clutch of about three eggs which hatch after incubation of 22 days.

Range
Breeds in southern Canada and northern United States. Winters along east and west coasts of Central America and South America.

Classification
Class:Aves
Order:Charadriiformes
Family:Laridae
Genus:Chlidonias
Species:niger
Common Name:Black Tern